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matt franks

Clients “inspired” to look at live events after 17 May, says DRPG

Creative agency DRPG’s director of events has said that prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that indoor events can return from 17 May has inspired clients to press ahead with live experiences.

From 17 May, indoor events for up 1,000 people or 50% venue capacity, not including staff, contractors or exhibitors, will reopen in England. Outdoor events for up to 4,000 (or 50% capacity) may also resume, and special dispensation will be given to seated stadiums.

Read: What events can happen from 17 May?

Matt Franks (pictured), the Worcestershire-based agency’s director of events, said the news will “inspire conversation in the right direction”.

“The fact that we are not implementing Covid-secure status at this time has made things simpler and we have seen some enquiries for small projects as a test bed between 17 May and 21 June,” said Franks.

Talking about the general mood among clients, Franks noted the overall positivity and prevailing appetite for a return to live, in-person events, but noted there remained an element of anxiety over what he described as “unknown risks”.

“The general mood among our clients is positive and there is an appetite to return to live experiences, however this is still surrounded by a nervousness with the unknown and risks still attached that affect corporate social responsibility,” he said.

“Having said that, conversations are starting, and avenues are being explored to get us back to live experiences as opposed to digital.”

A boost for the team

When asked by Conference News what the announcement meant to the agency as a whole, Franks said it was “great news”. 

“It means we are moving forward on the roadmap as planned which we can only take as a positive, it’s one step closer to the return of live events,” he said. “All of the research and conversation from test events, as well as events around the globe, are helping to give confidence. The increased appetite for event attendance is also a real positive that is needed.”

He added: “It has boosted our team and shone more light at the end of the tunnel, we have seen the return of site visits and conversations about live events which is warmly welcomed across our business.”